Cat Urbigkit is one of the blog's contributors who gives us this piece called Women's Working Equine Partners.
There is a picture of my father holding me in front of his team of work horses. I can remember the big gray named Bud plowing our garden. When I was a kid, I did a lot of horseback riding, and we worked our beef cows on horseback. Despite having horses on three sides of me, I have refrained from getting a horse myself because they are prey animals, and they need a lot of attention. My limited time and energy are better spent on something other than a beautiful though temperamental equine whose utility, to me, is rather limited.
However, if I ever get my fences finished (this winter for sure -- maybe) and get some stock, there's a good chance I will get a donkey. Several of the neighbors have them, and I suspect that in addition to going after coyotes, they would help keep some of the sprouts browsed back. Also, if worst ever came to worst, they can carry a load.
I wonder if Obama was a traditionalist? From Ms. Ugbigkit's article:
In Kenya, women make the decisions about livestock purchases, and in some areas a donkey is the first gift a husband presents to his new bride. In most communities in all four countries, women are the primary and traditional care givers for the family’s livestock.
I'll add the bold, but you write your own jokes:
One woman in Kenya provides a glimpse of the importance of donkeys in everyday life: “The donkey affects each and every aspect of my life as a woman. On a typical day the donkey fetches water, which I use to do the dishes, to clean the house, and for bathing. It also fetches sawdust which I use to cook all meals; then I hire it out and it brings in income on a daily basis that I use to buy flour for the evening meal. In other words, I eat, drink, dress, live off the donkey and more so as a woman and not one employed, I work hand in hand with the donkey. Basically the donkey is like me but to plainly put it, the donkey is me.”
To be more serious, if a person has space for a working equine and some knowledge or willingness to learn -- preferably hands-on from knowledgeable people, having a non-fossil-fueled alternative to tractors and ATVs is well worth considering.